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DNA from the air reveals hidden animal and plant life

DNA from the air reveals hidden animal and plant life

DNA is a recipe for trees, plants, animals, and humans.

The environment is full of DNA – eDNA or environmental DNA is called, “environmental DNA”. Researchers routinely collect eDNA from water to investigate life in it.

but now Researcher from Queen Mary University In London I also started collecting eDNA directly from the air.

Examined the caves of naked mice

The researchers were interested to see if they could use eDNA to investigate cave-dwelling animals, for example – when they couldn’t capture it or even find it.

By analyzing the air in a room with experimental animals – naked mice – researchers were able to discover RNA from both humans and naked rats. It is a major advance in eDNA research and discovery that, according to the researchers, greatly advances the potential of eDNA analysis.

You may find rare or unknown varieties

In the long term, researchers expect that they can use the technology to track, for example, rare and endangered animals or invasive species by examining the air in an area without having to find them in the field.

DNA from animals ends up in the air through saliva and dead skin cells. Researchers are now working to discover the extent to which eDNA in air can travel and how the size of space or cave affects how much eDNA they can find.

But the next step would be to try to find eDNA from outdoor animals.